John Mayberry, Jr.

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John Mayberry, Jr.
John Mayberry Jr batting.jpg
Mayberry in 2011 with the Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies – No. 15
Outfielder
Born: (1983-12-21) December 21, 1983 (age 30)
Kansas City, Missouri
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
May 23, 2009 for the Philadelphia Phillies
Career statistics
(through 2013)
Batting average .245
Home runs 46
Runs batted in 148
Hits 277
Stolen bases 14
Teams
John Mayberry, Jr.
Medal record
Men’s baseball
Competitor for  United States
World University Championship
Gold 2004 Tainan Team

John Claiborn Mayberry, Jr. (born December 21, 1983) is a Major League Baseball outfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies. He is the son of former major leaguer John Mayberry, Sr., and as such grew up playing baseball. He attended high school in Kansas City, playing both baseball and basketball; he was suited for basketball with his 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) stature and 234 pounds (106 kg) weight.[1] Ultimately, however, baseball was his first love, and in the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft, the Seattle Mariners drafted him out of high school (28th overall), however he chose not to sign, instead attending Stanford, where he played three years before being drafted, played for the United States national baseball team at the World University Baseball Championship in 2004. Subsequently, the Texas Rangers selected him in the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft (19th overall).

Mayberry ascended through the Rangers' minor league system, ultimately reaching Triple-A (AAA) level, by which point he was considered a legitimate major league prospect. In 2007, he began to amass strong power numbers in the minor leagues, and on November 20, 2008, the Philadelphia Phillies acquired him in a "speed for power swap", relinquishing Greg Golson. With the Phillies, he started in AAA, however was called up to the Phillies' major league team by May of the succeeding year, hitting a home run as his first major league hit in his first game. Though he was sent back to the minors a few weeks later and spent the majority of the 2009 and 2010 seasons there, he returned to the major league squad in 2010 as a September callup, and has remained their since, absent a short stint in Triple-A in 2011.

Mayberry opened the 2011 season with the major league Phillies, and played over 100 games on the big-league club, splitting time between outfield and first base, as well as pinch hitting. All told, 2011 was his best major league season. He remained with the big-league club in 2012, and played predominantly in left field early in the season, and subsequently as the team's everyday centerfielder following a trade. His batting average declined as did his power numbers, and entering the 2013 season, expectations for him were low, and he still managed to fail to live up to them, hitting just .227 with 11 home runs.

Mayberry has never reached his full potential as a major league player. As a hitter, he hits for power relatively well, but strikes out frequently. He is a good athlete, and thus has good speed, however does not steal many bases. Defensively, he is "adequate", and possesses a relatively strong and accurate arm. Mayberry has a degree in political science, and once aroused controversy over the method by which he sought to attain a date with a character from Pirates of the Caribbean.

Early life[edit]

Mayberry attended Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, the same high school as David Cone.[2] While there, he was named a first-team All-USA player and third-team All-American. He hit over .400 in both his junior and senior years of high school, where he also played basketball.[3] Out of high school, Mayberry was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft (28th overall)[4] but did not sign, choosing instead to attend Stanford University.[3] He was the highest-drafted player from the 2002 draft who chose to attend a four-year college instead of signing a contract.[3]

Mayberry played three years for the Stanford Cardinal baseball team, and, along with fellow future major league infielder Jed Lowrie, formed the "heart" of Stanford's batting order.[5] As a freshman in 2003, he had both a 7-game and a 16-game hitting streak[3] and hit four home runs, batting .299 with 33 runs batted in (RBI).[6] During the summer of 2003, he also played for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox of the Cape Cod Baseball League, batting .375. During his sophomore season, he was named a first-team All-Pac-10 selection and a midseason All-Star by Baseball America.[3] That year, he batted .333 with 16 home runs, 62 RBI, and 9 stolen bases.[6] In 2004, he played with Team USA at the FISU World University Baseball Championship in Taiwan.[7] Mayberry's junior year, which was his last at Stanford, was his best with the team. He amassed 22 multi-hit games to lead the team;[3] his batting average for the season was .303.[6] His .996 fielding percentage was also fourth in the Pac-10 conference, with only 2 errors in 501 chances.[3][6] He also had five hitting streaks of six games or more throughout the season.[3] Upon finishing his career, Mayberry was ranked second among active players behind Lowrie in multi-hit games, multi-RBI games, and home runs.[3] After his junior season, he was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft (19th overall).[8]

Professional career[edit]

Minor leagues[edit]

John Mayberry, Jr. with the Clinton Lumber Kings

After being drafted, Mayberry was assigned by the Rangers to the Spokane Indians in the Northwest League, with whom he sought to transition from outfield to first base.[9] In the short season, he hit 11 home runs with a .253 batting average.[10] The 2006 season saw Mayberry promoted to the A-level Clinton Lumber Kings. He hit four triples and stole nine bases during the season, while batting .268 and hitting 21 home runs.[6] He split 2007 between the high-A Bakersfield Blaze and double-A Frisco RoughRiders, where he stole a career-high 16 bases between the two teams.[10] Mayberry displayed a power outburst during the 2007 season, hitting 30 home runs between the two minor league levels;[6] for the season, Baseball American named him the fifth-best prospect in the Rangers' farm system, up from tenth in 2006.[6]

With 20 home runs and 137 hits between Frisco and the Oklahoma RedHawks in 2008, Mayberry continued to show major league potential. In his first 32 at-bats at the AAA level, he had 16 hits, including a 5-hit performance in the fourth game after his call-up.[11] In what Philadelphia Phillies general manager Rubén Amaro, Jr. called a "speed-for-power swap", Mayberry was traded to the Phillies on November 20, 2008 for outfielder Greg Golson.[12]

Opening the 2009 season with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Mayberry opened the season hitting 8 home runs and 25 RBI, with a .277 batting average. In need of an extra bat off the bench for interleague play, the Phillies called Mayberry up to the major leagues on May 23.[13]

Major leagues[edit]

Mayberry with the Phillies in 2010

2009[edit]

The Phillies called Mayberry up to the major league squad for the first time on May 22, 2009. The next day, in his first major league game, Mayberry got his first career hit, a three-run home run off of Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees.[14] After his second brief stint of the year in the minor leagues, he returned to the Phillies when left fielder Raúl Ibáñez went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained groin. Mayberry promptly proceeded to hit another home run in his return to the majors, this time off of Dirk Hayhurst of the Toronto Blue Jays.[15] Mayberry's father had finished his career playing five seasons with the Blue Jays, and the last half of his final season with the Yankees.[16] Several years later, a piece in The Philadelphia Daily News commented, "He has always had the physical tools that cause an organization to dream, as the Rangers did when they selected him in the first round in 2005. But by 2009, that dream had been replaced by what they thought was reality: his swing was too long, his eye indiscriminate, his on base percentage low."[17]

2010[edit]

Mayberry played only 11 games with the major league Phillies in 2010, spending the majority of the season (128 games) at AAA Lehigh Valley, with whom he hit .267 with 15 home runs and 65 RBIs.[18] 2010 marked the first year of his ride on a "merry-go-round" between Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia; in 2011, Mayberry commented, "Well it's different, but I've kind of gotten used to it the last few years here but you know obviously you want to just keep working hard be ready when they call you because the big leagues is obviously where you want to be."[19] He did earn a September callup, and "made a case" to have a place on the Phillies' postseason roster,[17] however ultimately was assigned to the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League (AFL) instead; he left the AFL after just one game with a leg injury.[20]

2011[edit]

Mayberry made the Phillies' opening day roster for the first time, and recorded the game-winning RBI via a pinch hit single in the Phililes' first game. Throughout 2011, Mayberry did not have a defined role on the club. In August, columnist David Murphy wrote, "While the Phillies may not see evidence that Mayberry should be part of their everyday plans, it is getting hard to ignore the two huge offensive tools he brings to the table: immense power, and a curious ability to hit when it counts." He added, "Charlie Manuel has always seemed to have a soft spot in his heart for Mayberry. And, more importantly, he has always seemed to have a knack for when to put him into a game."[17] Manuel compared Mayberry to former Phillie Jayson Werth in terms of their size, athleticism, and the fact that they both hit better against left-handed pitching than right-handed pitching, noting that he planned to give Mayberry a chance to start if Ben Francisco floundered;[21] ultimately, the Phillies traded away Francisco after the season, in part due to Mayberry's emergence.[22] He finished the season with a .273 batting average, .854 OPS and 15 home runs in 104 games, and made his postseason debut in the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals that September.[23]

2012[edit]

After a wholly productive 2011 season during which he "excited fans" and seemed like "a sure bet to crack at least 25 the following year and maybe drive in 100 runs",[24] Mayberry's performance instead declined significantly, hitting just .245 (a 28-point drop), albeit with similar power numbers (14 home runs and 46 runs batted in compared to 15 and 49 respectively in 2011).[25] After a poor start to the season, some sportswriters questioned whether the Phillies should have prioritized finding a leftfielder in free agency to supplant him,[26] who entered the season platooning in left field with Juan Pierre. Mayberry's slump continued into May – on May 1, he held a .204 batting average – and ultimately, Pierre excelled to the point that he became the de facto everyday starter, leaving Mayberry on the bench until late July, when the Phillies traded both Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence, forcing Mayberry to see action, predominantly in center field.[27][28] Though he played well in August (batting .290), he struggled through September, and expectations were relatively low headed into the offseason. A season-in-review article from SBNation.com opined, "(His) adequate defense at all three outfield positions makes him a decent fourth outfielder/bench bat, but at age 29 in 2013, the time for hoping that Mayberry finally puts his significant physical and intellectual gifts together to become an above-average Major League Baseball player appear to have gone completely."[27]

2013[edit]

Mayberry entered the season looking to bounce back from a rather tumultuous 2012 campaign, and was considered a solid bench player who can make occasional starts in the outfield. Baseball statistician Bill James projected Mayberry would hold a .257 batting average and hit 11 home runs in 306 plate appearances.[29] Despite being projected as a bench player, Mayberry was the Phillies' opening day rightfielder, and batted seventh in the opening day starting lineup, as Delmon Young, acquired to be the starting rightfielder, was injured.[30][31] On June 4, 2013, Mayberry hit a walk-off grand slam in the 11th inning against the Miami Marlins 7–3. The preceding inning, he hit a solo home run to tie the game. By doing so, he became the first player in Major League history to hit two extra-inning home runs, the second of which being a grand slam.[32] Ultimately, Mayberry played in 134 games, recording just a .227 batting average, 11 home runs, and 39 runs batted in.[33] After the season, the Phillies tendered a contract to him despite external pressure not to do so. Ruben Amaro, Jr. commented that he sees Amaro as a valuable player off the bench for a relatively cheap price. Bill Baer, a writer for Crashburn Alley, a Phillies blog sponsored by ESPN, countered, "Everything Amaro said there is accurate. Mayberry is not starter-caliber; he is an ideal platoon partner in the outfield or at first base. The only problem is that the Phillies had some ideal situations to use Mayberry in specifically that way and Amaro either did not realize it or ignored it."[34]

Player profile[edit]

Offense[edit]

The Phillies initially acquired Mayberry for his power hitting potential, and throughout his ascent through the minor leagues, he hit double-digit home runs, but his plate discipline was poor, as he struck out on over 20% of plate appearances.[35] According to ESPN hot zones, Mayberry hits pitches in the middle of the plate belt-high, as well as pitches down and inside the best, while he struggles predominantly on outside pitches.[36] Mayberry has long been considered a good athlete, and finally honed his speed to translate it to success on the basepaths – he stole many bases in the minor leagues, but only 14 in the major leagues.[37][38] The Hardball Times once published a piece that compared his hitting ability to that of Mike Morse in terms of their similar power hitting ability.[35] From 2011–2013, Mayberry performed significantly better against left-handed pitchers than right-handed pitchers. Against lefties, he totaled 21 home runs and 53 RBIs in 377 at bats with a batting average of .273, whereas against righties, he totaled 19 home runs and 81 RBIs in 684 at bats with a batting average of .231.[39] Kenny Ayres, a writer for Phillies Nation, commented that "between the long looping swing, chasing sliders three feet outside and his frustrating tendency to try to pull everything, Mayberry has earned just about as low a score for the season as a position player can have" in regards to his 2013 season.[24]

Defense[edit]

The recurring term throughout the media used describe Mayberry's defense is "adequate".[27][38] Over the years, he has seen significant time at all three outfield positions. Former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel preferred him as a corner outfielder, however when the Phillies traded away Shane Victorino, Mayberry was the predominant center fielder for the remainder of the season in 2012.[40] In 2013, Mayberry played 79 games in right field, 46 in center field, 9 in left field, and 7 at first base.[41] He has a strong throwing arm from the outfield that is fairly accurate.[42][43]

Personal life[edit]

A year after he was drafted, Mayberry completed his degree in political science from Stanford in 2006.[37] In 2011, Mayberry made headlines when reports surfaced that he sought to use his agents to get a date with Antoinette Nikprelaj, a mermaid in Pirates of the Caribbean; unbeknownst to him, however, she was already married and had a daughter, and this led to embarrassment both to him and his agent.[44][45] Mayberry's father, John Mayberry, Sr., played 15 seasons of Major League Baseball, predominantly as a member of Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays.[46]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "John Mayberry Jr. Stats, News, Photos". ESPN. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Draft Picks who came from Rockhurst HS, Kansas City, MO". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "#25 – John Mayberry, Jr.". Stanford University Athletic Department. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  4. ^ "1st Round of the June 2002 Draft". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  5. ^ Eymer, Rick (June 9, 2004). "The season is over too early". Palo Alto Weekly. Retrieved March 7, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "John Mayberry". The Baseball Cube. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Time Flies". Stanford University Athletic Department. April 19, 2005. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  8. ^ "1st Round of the 2005 June Draft". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  9. ^ Eymer, Rick (July 8, 2005). "A Cardinal rule is finally broken". Palo Alto Weekly. Retrieved March 7, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "John Mayberry Minor League Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  11. ^ "John Mayberry: Biography and Career Highlights (2008)". Phillies.MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  12. ^ Mandel, Ken (November 20, 2008). "Phillies deal Golson to Rangers". Major League Baseball. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Phillies recall 1B John Mayberry Jr. from Triple-A". USA Today. Associated Press. May 22, 2009. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  14. ^ Zolecki, Todd (May 23, 2009). "Mayberry homers in big league debut". phillies.com: News. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved March 5, 2014. 
  15. ^ Zolecki, Todd (June 18, 2009). "Trots for naught". phillies.com: News. Major League Baseball. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  16. ^ "John Mayberry Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b c Murphy, David (August 5, 2011). "The curious case of John Mayberry Jr.". High Cheese - Philadelphia Daily News. Philadelphia Media Network. Retrieved March 5, 2014. 
  18. ^ "John Mayberry Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  19. ^ Moskowitz, Joseph (June 11, 2011). "Philadelphia Phillies, Lehigh Valley IronPigs, John Mayberry, Jr.: John Mayberry Jr. Q&A". The Morning Call (Allentown, PA). Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  20. ^ Gleeman, Aaron (November 9, 2010). "John Mayberry leaves Arizona Fall League with leg injury". HardballTalk. NBC Sports. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  21. ^ Housenick, Mandy (May 19, 2011). "Manuel compares Mayberry to Werth". The Morning Call (Allentown, PA). Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  22. ^ Zolecki, Todd (December 12, 2011). "Phillies deal Ben Francisco for Minor League reliever Frank Gailey". phillies.com: News. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  23. ^ Short, D. J. (October 3, 2011). "John Mayberry Jr. likely starting in left field for Game 3 of NLDS". HardballTalk. NBC Sports. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  24. ^ a b Ayres, Kenny (November 8, 2013). "Player Review: John Mayberry Jr.". Phillies Nation Player Reviews. Phillies Nation. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  25. ^ "John Mayberry Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  26. ^ Murphy, David (April 18, 2012). "Worth noting: Waiting for Placido Polanco and John Mayberry Jr.". Philadelphia Daily News - High Cheese. Philadelphia Media Network. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  27. ^ a b c Lyons, Peter (October 15, 2012). "2012 Phillies Exit Interview: John Mayberry, Jr.". The Good Phight. Vox Media. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  28. ^ "John Mayberry Jr., Phillies sink Braves". USA Today. Associated Press. May 1, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  29. ^ "2013 Phillies Player Preview: John Mayberry, Jr.". The Good Phight. Vox Media. February 21, 2013. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  30. ^ Lawrence, Ryan (April 1, 2013). "Rollins not on top in Phillies Opening Day lineup". Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  31. ^ Calcaterra, Craig (January 22, 2013). "Ruben Amaro: Delmon Young to be Phillies everyday right fielder". HardballTalk. NBC Sports. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  32. ^ Zolecki, Todd (5 June 2013). "Mayberry homers to tie it in 10th, win it in 11th". MLB.com - PHI Recap. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  33. ^ Gelb, Matt (November 12, 2013). "Phillies plan to offer John Mayberry Jr. arbitration". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  34. ^ Baer, Bill (December 3, 2013). "Ruben Amaro sees value in John Mayberry". Crashburn Alley. SweetSpot Network - an ESPN affiliate. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  35. ^ a b Fleder, Nick (March 5, 2012). "Dollar a day: John Mayberry Jr.". The Hardball Times. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  36. ^ "John Mayberry Jr. Hot Zones". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  37. ^ a b Clark, Bonnie, ed. (February 2013). 2013 Philadelphia Phillies Media Guide. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The Phillies. pp. 123–5. 
  38. ^ a b Wisniewski, Mike (October 11, 2013). "Phillies Stay or Go: John Mayberry Jr.". CSNPhilly.com. Comcast Sportsnet Philly. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  39. ^ "John Mayberry Jr. Stats, Splits". Philadelphia Phillies - ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  40. ^ Brookover, Bob (October 31, 2012). "Inside the Phillies: A look at Phillies' center field options". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  41. ^ "John Mayberry Fielding Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  42. ^ Housenick, Mandy (February 16, 2013). "Darin Ruf getting more comfortable in left field at Phils' spring training". The Morning Call (Allentown, PA). Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  43. ^ Godfrey, Matt (August 24, 2011). "Mayberry making his case as Phils slugger". Northeast Times (Northeast Philadelphia). Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  44. ^ Gleeman, Aaron (September 7, 2011). "John Mayberry Jr.'s agents are trying to get him a date". HardballTalk. NBC Sports. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  45. ^ Brown, David (September 7, 2011). "Phillies’ Mayberry uses agent to try for date with ‘Pirates’ mermaid". Big League Stew - MLB Blog. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  46. ^ "John Mayberry Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 

External links[edit]